When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say about who we are and the world we live in.

My mother would tell you that I am really bad about keeping in touch with her sometimes (ok most of the time), and she would probably be right.

Hence, Words with Friends. It’s basically a version of Scrabble that you play on your mobile phone or tablet on your own time. Your device alerts you when its your turn to play – each player taking their own turns on their own time. It’s an incredibly convenient way to play a game with another person. Additionally the game has a chat function in which you can leave messages for each other as you play, so this has been a fun way to interact with my mother in the context of a game.

A few things you should know about me. First I don’t play Scrabble–I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have played it over the course of my life. Second you should know that my mom is very intelligent and good at word puzzles and such. Thus I was elated when I was able play “datary” and “treats” on a triple word on her and amass a substantial lead over her. a few turns later, however my mom played “hibiscus on me for 76 points and is now beating me by about 50 points. The teacher is not greater than the master, it seems.

Consequently I think I will be playing Words with Friends against my mom for a while now, at least until I beat her. Hopefully even longer, because it has been a fun way to interact with and keep up with her, and I do in fact love my mother very much.


  1. I agree—Words with Friends has been such a treat! The chat function allows me to lament of my tray of vowels or to cheer a good word or to admit an unknown word that I’ve just tossed down the hope that it will stick. This game is building moments of connection throughout my day with dear ones I am not typically able to chat with. It’s keeping me connected in a playful way with them, and I love it!

  2. I don’t know where to start. Thank you for inviting me to play. Thank you for these wonderful words. Thanki you for hearing me when I tell you that I need you to touch base more often. Thank you for BEING a son I want to talk with.

    I do, in fact, love you very much.

  3. In the interest of complete disclosure, Drew won this match and I am challenging him to another… but, really, who’s keeping score? We just like to play, don’t we ;-)

  4. @Mom–you are welcome, I have really enjoyed it. I am expecting to get beat this next round! I think I kinda got lucky.

    @Erin I have read your Which Word Wednesday articles and consequently I am scared to tell you this but my username is drewdixon82 add me if you want to play ;)

  5. @Drew–no need to fear, for my love for words does not seem to help me in WWW. Let’s play a few rounds! I’ll send the invite later today. Game on.

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